Israel approves 13,000 settlement units:
"Rana Kamal, Press TV, al-Quds
Three months after Israel's 10-month partial freeze on settlement construction in the occupied West Bank came to an end, settlements have been expanding at a rapid pace.
According to a report from the Peace Now organization, Israel has approved the construction of over 13,000 settlement units in the West Bank since late September.
Peace Now has revealed that work has begun on more than 1,712 new settlement units since the freeze ended. .
Rapid growth of settlement construction has also hit occupied East Jerusalem, al-Quds. In the last year and a half, hundreds of settlements units have been approved and thousands more planned.
Bulldozers have been working overtime since direct talks between the Palestinians and the Israelis broke down after Israel decided not to extend the partial settlement freeze in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
While in recent years most of the expansion has been in large settlements near the pre-1967 borders, the intense recent growth has been more in private building, mostly in smaller and more remote settlements.
The settlements are considered illegal under the international law due to their construction on the occupied land.
There are more than 300,000 Israeli settlers in the West Bank and 200,000 others in East Jerusalem-al-Quds.
Palestinian Authority leaders have said they will not return to direct talks unless Israel stops all settlement construction. They have also planned to submit to the United Nations Security Council a resolution condemning what they have called gradual land grabs.
Israel approves 13,000 new settlement units - PressTV 101223:
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